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Sassa mulls staggering grant payment dates

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Beneficiaries are encouraged to also use the Sassa Northern Cape toll-free line should they need social grant related information at 0800 003 077

THE SOUTH African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the South African Post Office (Sapo) in the Northern Cape met yesterday to discuss the directive given by Social Security Minister Lindiwe Zulu to stagger social grant payment dates from April 2020.

Sassa regional spokesperson Inno Khunou said yesterday that this was in response to the Covid-19 call by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday evening.

“Sassa and Sapo will in the coming weeks devise ways to put into motion the issue raised by the minister to consider the staggering of payments to deal with crowds of more than 100 people at a time at their pay points during the coming payment cycles.

Beneficiaries are encouraged to also use the Sassa Northern Cape toll-free line should they need social grant related information at 0800 003 077.

“Sassa reassures beneficiaries that social grants will be paid every month and beneficiaries need not panic. Already plans are being made to ensure a seamless service to social grant recipients and not only at pay points but also at Sassa contact points where they visit the offices province-wide seeking to apply for grants and requiring other related services. Already, all outreach programmes are suspended with immediate effect as these generally attract huge crowds. Home visits, visits to clinics, hospitals to take down applications are suspended with immediate effect,” Khunou explained.

Meanwhile, at local offices basic hygiene rules, as outlined by the national Department of Health, apply. Washing of hands with soap or use of sanitisers provided by Sassa, where water and soap is limited, and allowing a limited number of citizens into the local offices at any one time will also depend on the size of the waiting area there. Citizens should be advised to also allow a reasonable space between seats at offices.

“As with cash pay points, Sassa is working closely with Sapo to implement measures to limit the number of citizens at post offices, especially on the first few days of grant payments. The same requirements as those set for access to local offices apply, namely to limit the numbers to less than 100 people or a number that can safely be accommodated. Further updates affecting services rendered by Sassa will be provided as the situation develops,” concluded Khunou.